My beautiful Nana Marica was famous for her deli doughnuts. Born and raised in Brac, Croatia she left the homeland for a better life and arrived by boat to New Zealand with no english and knew nobody. She married my Grandfather Marco and had 5 charming children, one being my father.
There are three things that I remember Nana always making when we would visit her in Dargaville on our school holidays – chicken pasta, her simple salad and the Prśurata (deli doughnuts). The doughnuts would be sitting in her pantry, freshly made that morning in the special yellow bowl. She would use the bowl to make the batter and then once cooked put them back in waiting patiently for us to demolish.
When Nana passed away we were all told we could take one thing to remember her by. I kept her wooden jewellery box. It is beautifully carved and simple, and still holds her pin from her bowl playing days. My sister kept the yellow bowl.
It may only be a plastic yellow bowl but it holds many wonderful memories of Nana and the special holidays spent with her.
Prśurata, otherwise known as Fritule, are a traditional Croatian Christmas treat. What separates these doughnuts from Italian Zeppole or Greek Loukoumades or any other fried dough balls, is that raisins and citrus zest and juice is added.
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 c plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c sultanas
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 orange, zest and juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 c water
3 tbsp brandy
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat.
Combine all the ingredients in one bowl. Whisk to combine and remove all the lumps.
Using a small spoon, drop mixture into hot oil. Be careful as it may spit.
Cook till golden on each side. Transfer to paper towels then place in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar.
The special yellow bowl
(Thank you Lucy for the unasked loan)
Written by my then 7year old sister Lucy. Adorable.
Nana Marica, Sister (eating a pen), Brother, Dad and I
3rd generation, Tomislav, enjoying Nana’s deli doughnuts
My Tomislav bought me an apron from Tomislav Restaurant in Sydney for my birthday.
In keeping with the Croatian thing here is the apron, my Tomi and the doughnuts.
Thank you Jo for the beautiful plates!